From: email@example.com(Steven B. Harris)
Subject: Re: Difference between fruits and vegetables
Date: 14 Aug 1998 06:12:10 GMT
In <35D3A184.firstname.lastname@example.org> Tom Matthews <email@example.com> writes:
>Stewart Rowe wrote:
>> In a previous article, firstname.lastname@example.org () says:
>> >Hello, can anyone tell me what the definition is of a fruit, and what
>> >differentiates it from a vegetable? I know I must have learned this at
>> >some point in high school, but I have forgotten!
>> Strictly, a fruit bears or contains _seed or seeds_. Any other edible
>> plant part would seem to be a vegetable.
>Thus, many things which are classified as vegetables for food purposes
>are techically fruits. However, I can't think of a single food fruit
>which is not technically a fruit also. Interesting.
A fruit is, technically, indeed any enclosed seed. However, in
popular usage, fruits are things with sugar. So nuts and gords of
various kinds are out on that count, even though they qualify
botanically. Fruits are also something a plant makes "deliberately" to
be eaten, and all you need there are calories. Thus, the avocado-- a
pefectly good botanical fruit, but not a very sweet one. Tomatoes get
classed as vegetables for some reason-- maybe because they aren't sweet
enough. But they're clearly made by the plant to be eaten, as shown by
the color change when they're ripe (a signal). Any seed vehicle that
changes color when the seeds are ripe is meant to be eaten. You don't
get that much with nuts, which seem to be reserving their calories for
the seed, not the seed eater.